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Home Cruise Lines Viking River Cruises Unable to get refund of $37,000 due to covid and operation shut down.

Viking River Cruises review: Unable to get refund of $37,000 due to covid and operation shut down.

D
Author of the complaint
5:02 pm EDT
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Booked original cruise (Grand European Tour # 5807759) for May 7, 2020 and paid full invoice October 2019. April 2020, CDC direction for 65y and older unable to fly due to the virus. Called to reschedule trip until July and Viking canceled cruises due to virus. At that time Grand European Tour booked for July, Viking rep recommended the European Sojourn cruise was available, so booked that cruise for July 6, 2020 (# 5986931). All the time, the original $$ paid was to be transferred ( I have email indicating this would take 2-3 weeks) to new booking. May 6th called to inquire about flights and learned my original cruise had availability for July 6th as originally wanted, so canceled the Sojourn cruise and re-booked the Grand Tour (# 6029982 ). Again the original $$ would be transferred to new booking. Several days later, I was contacted by Viking requesting $1, 588 for travel insurance. I was told my trip/flights could not be booked without the additional $$ since my trip was < 60 days out and could not wait for the funds to be transferred from the Viking Finance department (I was told their workload was "overwhelming" due to the virus), so I paid the additional $$. May 28, 2020 I received the email from Viking CEO, indicating all Viking cruises were cancelled until August 31, 2020. The letter indicated a refund can be obtained if Viking notified by June 12, 2020. Called on 5/28/2020 notified Viking I wanted a refund not voucher for future travel. Rep shared she had to move my request to her manager and she would get back to me within 3 days. No Viking contact (by 6/10/2020), so sent email recapping the scenario and requesting refund not voucher (6/10/2020). Have now (6/25/2020) spoken to Veronica Fitzpatrick (lead Support Specialist), who was unable to help and referred me to Viking's Customer Relations. I shared that I had worked with them before without resolution. I have a speech disorder and have to tell this same story over and over, it's difficult for me and feel the mounting stress of this situation. I know COVID-19 is no one's fault, so I believe a full refund is due me. Having paid Viking in good faith last October, I think Viking should also do the right thing and refund my $$. I do have an trail of emails documenting my many weeks, trying to resolve this before filing this complaint. Thank you in advance for any help in resolving this.
Best regards, Linda Lewis, PhD, MSA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN

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Update by Dr. Linda Lewis
Jul 14, 2020 9:33 pm EDT

7/14/2020
There is no email from Viking as to refund ...
I found this on Facebook, there are many people having issues with Viking!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/177491565744585/?ref=nf_target&fref=nf&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARDfY2DWiHZb5wW5qYAwVgNEW5h9yCd1AiazfR-xypkpkLfvtHZC6M0sTbhpu4Xb1q7y-mtNBqPqzARasG25LbPVQZHdfvgFr_CXzteBqrnh-P1-ZDJHQtZDFxjDw_J2HrhQ_Brf35MV-MCbNXEEAqc2RMZz-v5Sdxki1aWd15jQ36Se9kr6ZOuL9PC2V18ju7JqEgj38YBy6bRMDnmrZJgbu62Uw6TFH_ZBv-8QeWaFai34DDbdMbFEd3SkV53yV4iu-Jrr3wTgpH7vBFuK-V-Szu0tUNm52ElxS8q2aRtpF2xFuQjHTTFjX0Ns9QOPLTOGZrcKTKzZztJaIQ&__tn__=C-R

Update by Dr. Linda Lewis
Jul 13, 2020 6:25 pm EDT

7/13/2020

Conversation with Tameka resulting in that my refund was not approved my the Viking executives. That I had coming future travel vouchers a total of approximately $16k (I have paid $37, 400 total for the Viking river cruise) and due to the COVID crisis Viking is keeping $21, 400 (57%) (I guess for their hardships?, since there was not to be any of their standard fees/penalties for changes/postponements due to the virus, as stated in multiple Viking memos). I requested everything to be put in writing, since the process has stressed me so much that my health was being negatively impacted and wanted the complaint now be escalated to an attorney, so I can reduce the stress on my health. I do not want any future travel vouchers because with the experience with Viking would not travel with them or recommend their company to anyone.

Is there anyone else having similar issues with Viking?

Update by Dr. Linda Lewis
Jul 13, 2020 6:05 pm EDT

7/7/2020
7/7/2020 Phone call 7:30a-8:00a
The call with Tameka reviewed the same information that has been repeated with the 8 different reps. All of the details of my conversations are documented in the Viking process. The summary of this 30 min conversation with 10 minutes on hold half- way due to Tameka checking with someone else about my concerns for a full refund. Tameka stated I had accepted a voucher of 9, 817 at the time of canceling and rebooking a later cruise. In my understanding it was a promotion to rebook, not a refund of only the 9K+ on the $37K I paid forward. That the intent was to use all the funds on the final booking. I stated that for Viking to keep monies without the transaction of having the cruise is fraud. I was stressed and the multiple conversations has impacted my health and feel that Viking’s policy and progress . Any reasonable person would not expect Viking would practice deceptive means to keep monies not earned. Yet in every conversation with Viking reps they do give one side of information and the company’s action says another, one of fraud and deception.
Viking started on 2/7/2020 to alert regarding the COVID-19 impact and their adherence to WHO and CDC travel guidance. March 2, 2020, another update regarding travel from Viking, indicating all bookings before April 30th could be postponed without change penalties. The May 28th memo from Viking’s CEO that all travel plans would be canceled until end of August 30th and now today’s (July 8th) another extension of travel suspension until September 30th . Each of the last two memos indicate the change/cancelation policy for penalties are suspended and full cash refunds instead of vouchers worth 125% for future travel. Tameka asked to get back to me in 5-7 business days for she "wanted to further investigate and present to her executives on my behalf" to represent my request, by "representing me" and that I should know "she would make every effort representing me.
On Saturday, 7/11/2020 I sent a summary email (with Viking emails to support my refund) to Tameka to aid her in her further investigation

Update by Dr. Linda Lewis
Jul 03, 2020 5:47 pm EDT

I received a call this am from Tameka Newsome apologizing the the issues I have been having with my refund request. We played "phone tag" today that resulted in Tameka's email stating she would get back to me Monday, 7/6/2020, and she "currently researching" my case. I was confused since last week I received a phone call stating a full refund would be deposited into my bank account.
This was my reply to her.
"I already received a call last week (Thursday, 6/26/2020) confirming a full refund to my bank accounts. Not sure what additional evaluation is needed? There are many conversations I have had over the many weeks, all should have documented notes in my account with Viking. Please email your follow-up and the refund estimated time of deposit. I do not want to be “untrusting” that Viking will be compliant in refunding my full refund, but I feel like with each new person (Viking rep), it starts all over again. I feel now the Viking process is a “stall tactic” in getting my refund. Each day Viking has my money, my funds do not gain interest instead in my bank, where it would. I have been patient in dealing with the Viking process so please resolve and refund my monies."

Each Viking representative has been kind and understanding but no one seems the correct person to get this issue resolved. Is this the way Viking operates?

Update by Dr. Linda Lewis
Jul 02, 2020 4:33 pm EDT

Heard from Viking rep last Thursday (6/25/2020). He apologized for the inconvenience this has caused me and that Viking was going to refund my $$ directly back into my bank accounts. Today is one week later, Thursday (7/2/2020), and no refunds.
Still waiting,
Dr. Lewis

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The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

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9 comments
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C
Aug 07, 2021 8:29 pm EDT

In January 2020, I prepaid for a Christmasmarket Rhine Getaway [departure DEC 2020] for my wife and I, before any C19 outbreak was publicly declared. My 2020 Cruise ended up canceled. I accepted a 125% voucher for a DEC 2021 cruise. I made travel plans to include pre-paid non-reimbursable lodging in two other German cities before our given embarkation date. I was told in May I must have vaccinations to board. My wife and I had C19, have antibodies, and won't get vaccinated with a FDA experimental drug, and especially those that been unethically produced.
I contacted Viking in June 2021 to inform them my contract with them never included mandated vaccinations. In July 2021, I'm told by Viking I can wait until 30 SEP to see if their vaccination mandate policy will be lifted; I agreed to wait. But I get an email on 5 AUG 2021 informing me my cruise date is changed to March 2022 with no offer of a refund; our trip was scheduled specifically for Christmasmarkets which run from the last weekend in November to late December.
Viking has had my money [>$6k] since JAN 2020 with no interest to me, offered no refund, offered no sympathy regarding my other expenditures based on Viking's confirmed sailing dates, but they communicate I can cruise 2 years after my full payment and without Christmas markets, no refunds, and still mandatory vacinnations in place.
I'm ready for small claims court or class action suit.
Marc DiConti
216 West 5th Street
Cheney, WA
MARC.DICONTI@GMAIL.COM

R
Oct 19, 2021 8:57 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Marc,
I am in a similar situation with Viking. Have you received any resolution from Viking on a refund? Robert Aldrich.

D
Jul 07, 2021 6:36 pm EDT

I too am waiting for a viking refund. Have any considered a class action lawsuit? There are many like us.

G
Apr 05, 2021 4:06 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I have a rescheduled Viking river cruise from 2020 - supposed to depart July 2021. Holland and Belgium. Doubtful this is going to take place. I will want my money back, they have now had it for 18 months. Looks like Viking plays the same delay game that Vantage Deluxe World Travel plays. They had $38, 000.00 of my money and the only way I was able to get it back was through American Express. Lesson learned: Never, ever pay any of these travel companies with a check or allow them to take money from your bank account. Always pay the extra 3% and use a credit card. They will try every trick in the book including stating that your cruise was "postponed" rather than canceled. They will pull the "itinerary change" gambit. A canceled cruise is a canceled cruise. Period. I have other travel already scheduled for 2022 and will not postpone again with Viking, even for the 25% bonus value. I will want my money refunded.

C
Apr 22, 2021 11:14 pm EDT

Similar experience. Their policy as of April 5, 2021, now states that you must have the coronavirus vaccine before boarding their ships. I object to this because it was not part of the contract and our agreement when I and my two sisters and gave them a significant amount of money. Furthermore, the vaccine does not have FDA approval. It is only has EUA—emergency use authorization. When it has FDA approval I will reconsider, but having already had Covid I am a little leery about getting a vaccine that can cause terrible repercussions even fatal ones for people who have had covid and survived.

C
Aug 07, 2021 8:02 pm EDT

Exactly my experience. My wife and I have had C19; we won't get any vaccinationthat is not only not FDA approved, but also has been unethically derived. Viking won't refund, but expect me to cruise another date. Ckass action works for me.

A
Dec 23, 2021 7:56 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Basically the same thing happened to me. I wonder if we can get everyone together, get an attorney who will work on contingency and sue their [censored] off for the refunds plus punitive damages.

L
Aug 08, 2020 8:10 pm EDT

Dr .Lewis, I am having almost the exact same experience. Paid 40k for two staterooms, I cancelled because of the coronavirus, had trip insurance, rescheduled. I had the same problems, placed on hold multiple times, transferred multiple times. No resolution to date. How can I contact you directly? Perhaps a class action suit? Linda McManus.

V
Aug 08, 2020 8:05 pm EDT

Hi Dr. Lewis, my sister is having a similar problem with Viking. I told her to have a look at yours. She also has not been able to get a full refund, but I'll let her tell you the details.

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